Most Affordable Online Master’s in Computer Forensics Degrees

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Interested in digging up and collecting digital artifacts for the law? Here are the most affordable online master’s in computer forensics!

As more organizations, corporations, and agencies rely fully on computer technology for data communication and storage, the need for professional computer forensics experts has never been higher. From the healthcare industry to education, to government agencies and corporations big and small, there is a need for network and systems protection all around.

From creating customized reports of findings and observations to monitoring systems for attacks and intrusions, you’ll work to create safer systems every day. With hackers becoming more prevalent in today’s digital world, it’s more important than ever to have folks on the good side! Protecting vital information and thinking a few steps ahead to prevent further attacks is what computer forensics officials do best.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Computer Forensics Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
2 Southern Arkansas University Magnolia, AR
3 American Public University Charles Town, WV
4 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
5 University of Maryland University College Adelphi, MD
6 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
7 Dakota State University Madison, SD
8 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
9 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
10 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI

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What kind of computer forensics degree should you get?

With the rise of degree offerings in computer forensics, it can be difficult to decide which program is best for you. Should you attend online or on-campus? Should you choose a concentration? Now that you’ve made the decision to earn a Master’s degree in computer forensics, plenty of other decisions will follow. Luckily, we’re here to help!

If you’re considering an online program, we’ve got you covered. In fact, College Choice has ranked the 50 Most Affordable Online Graduate Schools – we know what quality online programs are made up of. For those looking for a bit more flexibility in earning an advanced degree, an online cybersecurity program is a great choice. And, it’s not surprising that a computer forensics major would feel most at home in front of a computer! Check out the most affordable online programs below!

How much money do people make with a master’s in computer forensics?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for computer forensic examiners is around $95,000 per year. Not a bad salary for fighting cyber crime! And your salary will only increase with the more education and experience you have.

The responsibilities of computer forensics professionals are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increases. In fact, the BLS predicts a projected growth of 28 percent in cybersecurity jobs from now till 2026. Security analysts will need to create unique solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information going forward.

What can you do with a master’s in computer forensics?

Earning a master’s degree in computer forensics will open up many doors for graduates. Every industry needs an expert to keep their data safe. With a degree in this field, you can become anything from a computer forensics investigator or computer systems analyst to a cybersecurity officer or digital forensics investigator. Of course, you’re not limited to these career options – there are plenty of unique opportunities for you to pursue!

A computer forensics degree certainly won’t sentence you to a life as the “IT guy” who fixes printers and helps folks reboot their computers. There are so many more opportunities today as technology becomes increasingly sophisticated. Plus, you can choose to specialize in an even more niche area within computer forensics to score a more specific industry-related gig.

Best Master's in Computer Forensics Degrees Badge

What are the best master’s in computer forensics degrees?

While many schools offer degrees in computer science, it is now becoming increasingly more common to see master’s degrees offered specifically in computer forensics. But, how do you choose the best program? If you’re looking to begin your career fighting cyber crime, these 20 master’s degrees will serve you well so that you can go on to serve others.

From Western Governors University, to the University of Maryland – University College, the opportunities at these schools are endless. You’ll learn everything from ethical hacking and disaster recovery planning, to computer networking and cryptography – start your digital journey today!

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Western Governors University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    One of the top accredited online colleges in the nation, Western Governors University is based in Salt Lake City, UT. Rather than a tuition rate, WGU charges students per term. This fee includes up to 18 credit-hours and, if students have a need to further reduce the college cost, financial aid is also an option. WGU now offers an affordable online Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance.

    Program Features

    Most graduate students complete this degree program in one year. You’ll take 10 courses, including:

    • Cyberwarfare
    • Ethical Hacking
    • Secure Software Design
    • Information Security and Assurance Capstone Project
    • Disaster Recovery Planning, Prevention and Response

    In addition to these courses, you’ll earn the following certifications: EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker and EC-Council Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI). The cost of tuition per 6-month term is $3,490.

    Notables

    Western Governors University prides itself on its competency-based education methods and was named a Best Value School by University Research & Review. With the idea that no two students are the same, online courses are tailored to each specific individual’s needs. Much like the university itself, these degrees are centered in the IT, teaching, health, and business fields.

  2. Southern Arkansas University
    Location

    Magnolia, AR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Magnolia, AR, this public university was founded in 1909. Nearly 110 years later, Southern Arkansas University is home to over 3,200 students. SAU offers degrees through five colleges including: Business, Education, Liberal and Performing Arts, Science and Engineering, and Graduate Studies. Now, students can pursue an online Master of Science in Computer and Information Science with a Cyber Security and Privacy Option.

    Program Features

    Offered through SAU’s College of Science and Engineering, this program requires 30 hours and can be completed within two years. Required courses may include:

    • Computer Networking
    • Database Management Systems
    • Information & Networking Security
    • Vulnerability Analysis and Risk Assessment
    • Traceable systems and Computer Forensics

    Students may choose from one of three areas of focus, including information technology, data science, or cyber security and privacy. Many graduates of this program pursue careers as security/privacy architects, forensic specialists, security/privacy compliance analysts, or a related job.

    Notables

    U.S. News and World Report has ranked Southern Arkansas University as one of the Best Regional Universities in the South. It’s also one of the most affordable degree programs. The total tuition for in-state graduates is just $9,960, while out-of-state tuition is just over $14,000.

  3. American Public University
    Location

    Charles Town, WV

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The American Public University System is a private (despite its name), for-profit, regionally accredited institution dedicated to online learning. The school has an explicit focus on providing accessible higher education to members of the U.S. military (though they do not have an official relationship with the military) and offers high-quality, affordable, accredited educational programs to nontraditional learners.

    Program Features

    The first half of American Public University’s program focuses on the foundations of network security and cybercrime. The second half of the program focuses on the political and social practices around cyber crime. The program aims to educate student in several facets of cyber security:

    • Analyze cyber threats
    • Examine the legal side of issues
    • Compare different policies
    • Appraise the methodologies
    • Categorize cybersecurity roles

    Notables

    Online classes at APU start monthly (so you don’t have to wait) and run in either accelerated eight or 16-week terms. Class sizes are small (averaging around 18 students per class), and classes are asynchronous so you can work on your own schedule. Affordability is a hallmark of an American Public University education. The school keeps tuition among the lowest in the country while setting the bar high in terms of academic excellence.

  4. Sam Houston State University
    Location

    Huntsville, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Huntsville, TX, Sam Houston State University was founded in 1879 and is the third oldest university in the state. Home to over 20,000 students and mascot Sammy Bearkat, this public institution offers a variety of degree programs. Now, SHSU offers an online Master of Science degree in Digital Forensics. Learn more about the program below!

    Program Features

    This online program requires the completion of 30-36 credit-hours. Required courses may include:

    • Directed Management & Development Project
    • Digital Forensics Investigation
    • Network and Cyber Security
    • File System Forensics
    • Digital Security

    This program is intended for those who have completed undergraduate studies in Computer Science or Criminal Justice. The estimated tuition per semester of this online program is $4,012 for Texas residents. The cost is $4,650 per semester for non-residents.

    Notables

    Sam Houston State University has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the Best National Universities. SHSU was also ranked first for Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs and sixteenth for Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs. It’s no wonder so many students are choosing SHSU for their graduate studies.

  5. University of Maryland University College
    Location

    Adelphi, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded in 1947, the University of Maryland – University College is one of the most affordable colleges on this list. Depending on your residency, and if you have status as an active member of the military or are a veteran, the tuition can be as low as $7,500. UMUC now offers a completely online Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation program.

    Program Features

    This 36-credit online program costs $694 per credit and must be completed within five years of starting. Required courses may include:

    • Communicating, Problem Solving, and Leading in Cybersecurity
    • Cyberspace and Cybersecurity Foundations
    • Digital Forensics Technology and Practices
    • Digital Forensic Response and Analysis
    • Capstone in Cybersecurity

    This program will also prepare you for the following certification exams: AccessData Certified Examiner, Certified Cyber Forensics Professional, EC-Council Certified Incident Handler, and EnCase Certified Examiner.

    Notables

    The University of Maryland is featured on many “best of” rankings by U.S. News and World Report. From the Top Public Schools and Most Innovative Schools, to the nation’s Best Value Schools. In fact, UMUC offers more than 100 scholarships, financial aid, and interest-free monthly payment plans for those who qualify. The Completion Scholarship is one that serves to help Maryland community college graduates reduce the in-state rate by $100 per credit.

  6. Wilmington University
    Location

    New Castle, DE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    This private university headquartered in Delaware offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of areas. Known for its flexible day, evening, and weekend classes, WilmU offers unique 15-week, and 7-week course formats. Now, students with an interest in computer forensics can pursue an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity.

    Program Features

    Students in this program may choose from one of two concentrations: cyber terrorism or SCADA cybersecurity. Required core courses may include:

    • Protecting and Securing the OS
    • Vulnerability Assmt and PT
    • Cyber Threat Intelligence
    • Network Security
    • IDS and IPS

    All students must also complete a Cybersecurity Capstone and a Research Seminar. The graduate online tuition rate is $466 per credit-hour. All active duty military personnel, not including guard, reserves, spouses and dependents, can take graduate courses for just $300 per credit-hour.

    Notables

    Wilmington University has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity through 2021 by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Graduates of this program will be prepared for jobs like: Computer Systems Analyst, Cybersecurity Intelligence Analyst, Digital Forensic Examiner, Ethical Hacker, and more!

  7. Dakota State University
    Location

    Madison, SD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Dakota State University is a public university known for its technological focus. Over 3,000 students are enrolled in one of the many undergraduate, masters, or doctoral programs that Dakota offers. Now, the university based in South Dakota offers many of its prestigious degree programs online. Enjoy the flexibility of earning an MS in Information Assurance and Computer Security.

    Program Features

    Students in this program must complete 30 credit-hours within the five-year time limit. You’ll also have the option of taking classes part-time or full-time. Required courses may include:

    • Network Security/Intrusion Detection
    • Principles of Information Assurance
    • Ethics and Information Technology
    • Managing Security Risks
    • Cryptography

    All students will complete a total of 10 courses. In addition, you must successfully pass a comprehensive examination during your final semester to earn your degree. This program is intended for those with a background in computer science, information technology, or related field.

    Notables

    Dakota State University not only offers quality degrees, but affordable programs as well. In fact, no matter your state of residency, you will pay just $450 per credit-hour. Plus, 76 percent of students at DSU receive financial aid. There are also a variety of scholarship opportunities available.

  8. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    This public research university in Orlando, FL offers more than 200 degree programs in 13 colleges. Innovation and diversity are core values at UCF – in fact, UCF was listed as the twenty-fifth Most Innovative University out of nearly 1,400 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Now, UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science offers an online MS in Digital Forensics.

    Program Features

    What makes this program unique is how many different academic departments within UCF have collaborated to make it so comprehensive. You’ll take courses within the following departments:

    • Computer Science, Electrical, and Computer Engineering
    • Forensic Science of Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • Legal Studies

    This 100 percent online degree program requires students to complete 10 courses. You can complete this degree in as little as two years or less. All students may also choose between a thesis and non-thesis degree option.

    Notables

    The University of Central Florida is known for its affordable degree options. In fact, the tuition for this program is just $288 per credit-hour. However, out-of-state students must pay a $350 non-resident fee. UCF offers a variety of scholarship opportunities as well. All online students will also have full online access to the UCF Library.

  9. University of Arizona
    Location

    Tucson, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Founded in 1885 and located in Tucson, AZ, the University of Arizona is home to over 40,000 students. Now, this prestigious university offers online courses, giving their students more flexibility to fulfill their degree requirements. The Master of Science in Cybersecurity is one of the school’s best online programs and offers students a state-of-the-art Cyber Virtual Learning Environment.

    Program Features

    This 33-unit program is intended for professionals who have at least three years of technical industry experience. Students may choose from one of two tracks: information systems or physical systems (engineering). Required courses may include:

    • Information Security in Public and Private Sectors
    • Data Mining for Business Intelligence
    • Fundamentals of Computer Networks
    • Systems Cyber Security Engineering

    University of Arizona graduate programs range from $650 to $1,332 per unit.

    Notables

    Degrees earned through UA Online are exactly the same as those you would earn by taking traditional classes on campus. Perks of online degrees also include in-state tuition costs, even if you don’t live in Arizona! Ranked in the top 25 percent in the nation, UA Online is an excellent choice for anyone looking to learn the technical art of computer forensics.

  10. Davenport University
    Location

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Grand Rapids, MI, Davenport University is home to nearly 7,500 students – both on-campus and online. With more than 50 programs offered through its Colleges of Business, Technology, Health Professions, Arts & Sciences and Urban Education, Davenport has plenty to offer. And now students can obtain a Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity.

    Program Features

    This 34 semester credit-hour MS includes nine core courses, two upper-level electives, and a thesis. Required courses may include:

    • Statistics for Business
    • PERL/Python Scripting
    • Introduction to Programming
    • Information Security and Assurance
    • Data Communications and Networks

    Past graduates of this program have gone on to work for prestigious companies, including: National Security Agency, Boeing, CITI, Spectrum Health, Department of Energy, and more!

    Notables

    Whether you’re looking to become a Senior Security Analyst, Information Security Officer, or something similar, Davenport will leave you well-prepared. Not to mention, this online program is affordable too. In fact, Davenport University awards $15 million in scholarships each year! With a flexible online schedule and a curriculum that’s always ahead of the curve, you’ll definitely want to apply for this program.

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